Dusting in Heaven

Dusting in Heaven

From Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul

Dusting in Heaven

Heaven, the treasury of everlasting joy.

William Shakespeare

My eight-year-old son, Jonathan, is an exceptionally inquisitive and cheerful child who must have an answer for every question that enters his mind. I truly admire this awe-inspiring quality in him. However, I’m stumped when I do not have an answer for him.

While tucking him into bed one night I faced the hardest question he’d posed to me up until then.

“Mommy,” he said, “where is my granny now, and what is she doing there?”

I was entirely lost for words. There was a long pause as I searched my heart and soul for an appropriate answer.

My mother-in-law had been diagnosed with lymphoma and suffered through two long years of chemotherapy and radiation. Our family, being very close, prayed together as we watched this horrible disease claim her life twenty-six months later. My son was very close to his grandmother, and her death was a great mystery to him. I always knew this time would come, but how to prepare for such a question was a mystery to me.

Granny must have been listening to the conversation between her only grandson and me because my answer to him came out as if someone was talking for me.

“Jonathan,” I began, “Granny has gone to live in heaven.” Recalling the special care and tidiness she took with her home, I added, “She is dusting the clouds and keeping them shiny white.”

After a brief thought, Jonathan smiled as if he could imagine Granny working hard in heaven, and he kissed me good night. Relieved that I had satisfied his curiosity, I let out a breath of relief. I, too, missed her, and was happy I had moved through the interrogation without tears. Jonathan fell asleep, happily as always.

The next morning he ran through the house and jumped into bed with me. “Mom!” he said, “please come and look out your window!”

I half opened my eyes and gazed at the rays of sunshine filtering into my bedroom. “Yes, Jonathan, it is going to be a beautiful day.”

Jonathan had a glow about him as he looked at me with his wide-open eyes. His face beamed like a shaft of light as he glared out the window where the sun came shining in. He said, “Granny is doing a great job up there in heaven. Just look at those clean, white, fluffy clouds!”

Denise Peebles

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